Efficacy of Ibuprofen and Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen on Postoperative Pain in Symptomatic Patients with a Pulpal Diagnosis of Necrosis

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Abstract

Introduction

The purpose of this prospective, randomized, double-blind study was to determine ibuprofen versus ibuprofen/acetaminophen use for postoperative endodontic pain in symptomatic patients with a pulpal diagnosis of necrosis and an associated periapical radiolucency who were experiencing moderate to severe preoperative pain. We also recorded escape medication use.

Methods

Seventy-one adult patients presenting for emergency endodontic treatment with a symptomatic maxillary or mandibular tooth with a pulpal diagnosis of necrosis, periapical radiolucent area, and moderate to severe pain participated in this study. The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups by random assignment and numeric coding. An emergency debridement of the tooth was completed with hand and rotary instrumentation. At the end of the appointment, the patients randomly received capsules of either 600 mg ibuprofen or 600 mg ibuprofen combined with 1000 mg acetaminophen (blinded to both operator and patient). Patients also received a 6-day diary to be completed after anesthesia wore off and every morning for 5 days. Patients were asked to record pain, symptoms, and the number of capsules taken. Patients received escape medication (Vicodin) if the study medication did not control their pain. Postoperative data were analyzed by randomization test and step-down Bonferroni method of Holm.

Results and Conclusions

There were decreases in pain levels and analgesic use over time for the ibuprofen and ibuprofen/acetaminophen groups. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups for analgesic use or escape medication use. Approximately 20% of patients in both groups required escape medication to control pain.

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